Scottish Premiership
Partick Thistle2Dundee Utd2

Partick Thistle 2-2 Dundee United

Nadir Ciftci celebrates scoring for Dundee United
Nadir Ciftci scored for Dundee United to level at 2-2 at Firhill

Nadir Ciftci saved a point for high-flying Dundee United as they struggled to cope with a Partick Thistle side decimated by illness and injury.

Gary Mackay-Steven's early finish - his third goal in two games - appeared to put the visitors in control at Firhill.

But Thistle fought back into the game through a Ryan Stevenson header and a Kris Doolan tap-in.

It looked like Thistle would record their first win over United since March 1995 until Ciftci's fine finish.

United manager Jackie McNamara will have mixed emotions after an exciting encounter with his former club - missing a chance to overtake Celtic and move into second place in the Scottish Premiership, yet lucky to escape with a point after another disjointed away performance.

Despite Thistle having an extra festive rest thanks to Thursday's postponement against Celtic, counterpart Alan Archibald was still only able to find five fit men for his substitute's bench.

Kallum Higginbotham, Abdul Osman, Danny Seaborne and Christie Elliot were all ruled out, while James Craigen dropped into a dugout two short of the regulation seven.

Doolan, Steven Lawless and Dale Keenan returned to the side as teenagers Liam Lindsay and Declan McDaid were thrown in for their first starts.

Ryan Stevenson (right) celebrates scoring for Partick Thistle
Ryan Stevenson (right) scored Thistle's first goal against United

In contrast, McNamara stuck by the line-up that took apart Dundee in the New Year's Day derby.

Looking buoyed by that victory, United immediately took the game to the makeshift hosts and an early save from Paul Gallacher prevented Mackay-Steven adding to his two goals against the Dark Blues.

It didn't take long for the Scotland cap to make up for that miss as he was found in yards of space behind the Thistle defence by Ciftci's sublime chip and then clipped it past Gallacher and into the far corner of the net.

United's swift counter-attacks had Thistle reeling, but the home side somehow steadied themselves and already had a penalty claim denied before levelling, thanks in part to some poor defending.

Gary Fraser's corner kick found Stevenson unmarked 14 yards out and the forward's header looped over poorly positioned goalkeeper Radoslaw Cierzniak.

It was United's turn to look shell-shocked in the face of the opposition's confident passing and Doolan had already forced Cierzniak into a fine, near-post block before putting Thistle into the lead.

McDaid was unable to direct Fraser's low cross towards goal under pressure, but Doolan pounced to fire home the loose ball and two more Cierzniak saves - to deny Lawless and Fraser - prevented further damage to United by half-time.

McNamara brought on young midfielders Blair Spittal and Charlie Telfer for John Rankin and defender Keith Watson.

Tiring Thistle looked to have stifled the more attacking formation until the introduction of forward Ryan Dow in place of Chris Erskine was swiftly followed by a lightning break from Mackay-Steven.

The winger weaved his way from his own half to edge of the Thistle box before setting up Ciftci for a deft finish to extend United's unbeaten run against the Glasgow side to 17 games.

Jackie McNamara and Alan Archibald on the touchline
Jackie McNamara's former assistant, Alan Archibald, had a depleted squad from which to pick
Gary Mackay-Steven puts United 1-0 ahead at Firhill
Gary Mackay-Steven put United 1-0 ahead at Firhill
Ryan Stevenson heads over Radoslaw Cierzniak to equalise
Ryan Stevenson headed over the stranded Radoslaw Cierzniak to equalise for Thistle
Partick Thistle goalkeeper Paul Gallacher and Dundee United striker Nadir Ciftci
Thistle goalkeeper Paul Gallacher and United striker Nadir Ciftci shared a joke at the end

Line-ups

Partick Thistle

  • 12Gallacher
  • 2O'DonnellBooked at 61mins
  • 6Balatoni
  • 26Lindsay
  • 30Keenan
  • 22Fraser
  • 8BanniganBooked at 25minsSubstituted forCraigenat 79'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 11Lawless
  • 10StevensonBooked at 80mins
  • 28McDaid
  • 9Doolan

Substitutes

  • 1Fox
  • 7Craigen
  • 19Eccleston
  • 23Wilson
  • 25Leyden

Dundee Utd

  • 1Cierzniak
  • 12WatsonBooked at 43minsSubstituted forTelferat 56'minutes
  • 2Dillon
  • 5Fojut
  • 3Townsend
  • 20ButcherBooked at 68mins
  • 8RankinSubstituted forSpittalat 56'minutes
  • 11Mackay-Steven
  • 10Armstrong
  • 17ErskineSubstituted forDowat 72'minutes
  • 7CiftciBooked at 90mins

Substitutes

  • 16Wilson
  • 18Dow
  • 21Telfer
  • 22Connolly
  • 24Spittal
  • 26Szromnik
  • 33Spark
Referee:
John Beaton
Attendance:
3,761

Match Stats

Home TeamPartick ThistleAway TeamDundee Utd
Possession
Home53%
Away47%
Shots
Home11
Away9
Shots on Target
Home7
Away3
Corners
Home6
Away2
Fouls
Home13
Away10

Live Text

Match ends, Partick Thistle 2, Dundee United 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Partick Thistle 2, Dundee United 2.

Attempt missed. Stuart Armstrong (Dundee United) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high.

Booking

Nadir Ciftci (Dundee United) is shown the yellow card.

Booking

James Craigen (Partick Thistle) is shown the yellow card.

Foul by James Craigen (Partick Thistle).

Stuart Armstrong (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Ryan Stevenson (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Sean Dillon (Dundee United).

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Conrad Balatoni.

Attempt missed. Charlie Telfer (Dundee United) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

Attempt missed. Ryan Dow (Dundee United) left footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the right.

Attempt missed. Steven Lawless (Partick Thistle) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is close, but misses to the left.

Foul by Charlie Telfer (Dundee United).

Declan McDaid (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Booking

Ryan Stevenson (Partick Thistle) is shown the yellow card.

Stuart Armstrong (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Ryan Stevenson (Partick Thistle).

Attempt missed. James Craigen (Partick Thistle) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left.

Substitution

Substitution, Partick Thistle. James Craigen replaces Stuart Bannigan.

Foul by Gary Mackay-Steven (Dundee United).

Stephen O'Donnell (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Nadir Ciftci (Dundee United).

Stuart Bannigan (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Goal!

Goal! Partick Thistle 2, Dundee United 2. Nadir Ciftci (Dundee United) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the top left corner. Assisted by Gary Mackay-Steven.

Substitution

Substitution, Dundee United. Ryan Dow replaces Chris Erskine.

Booking

Calum Butcher (Dundee United) is shown the yellow card.

Foul by Calum Butcher (Dundee United).

Ryan Stevenson (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Conor Townsend (Dundee United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Ryan Stevenson (Partick Thistle).

Foul by Calum Butcher (Dundee United).

Stuart Bannigan (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Booking

Stephen O'Donnell (Partick Thistle) is shown the yellow card.

Chris Erskine (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Stephen O'Donnell (Partick Thistle).

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Kris Doolan.

Substitution

Substitution, Dundee United. Blair Spittal replaces John Rankin.

Substitution

Substitution, Dundee United. Charlie Telfer replaces Keith Watson.

Attempt missed. Nadir Ciftci (Dundee United) right footed shot from outside the box is too high from a direct free kick.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Aberdeen20141531171443
2Celtic18123334122239
3Hamilton20123536191739
4Dundee Utd20122639261338
5Inverness CT2012262820838
6St Johnstone209291721-429
7Kilmarnock198382023-327
8Dundee205782632-622
9Partick Thistle195682523221
10Motherwell2052131334-2117
11St Mirren2032151535-2011
12Ross County2025131941-2211
View full Scottish Premiership table

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